About Delivery

Introduction

We represent a collaborative effort of academic, public and state government libraries; state library agencies; regional and multi-type library systems; and local school districts in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. We also oversee the delivery of library materials to our participating libraries.

We've recently implemented our "Secure Delivery" program. This program provides zip ties and clippers to all Minitex libraries that wish to participate. Tubs are secured with zip ties when they leave Minitex, and the participating library that receives the tub also returns the material in a zip tie secured tub.

We are very proud of our tutorial "Del the Book." Del has been a big hit with many of our participating libraries; if you haven't yet, we invite you to take a look at how Minitex Delivery works.

Overview

We process incoming materials and sort and pack outgoing materials from all over the Minitex region. We also pick up materials retrieved from all of the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus libraries, including Wilson Library, Walter Library, McGrath Library and the Biomedical Library. We also make a stop at Minneapolis Public Library to drop off and pick up library material.

As the Minitex region's backbone delivery network, we also use commercial couriers to deliver book loans, AV material, photocopies and other resources requested by library patrons. Material is delivered overnight five days a week to most libraries in the Minitex region. Other libraries that are not on the Minitex Courier route get UPS service.

Funding

We are supported with state appropriations from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, federal LSTA funds from the Minnesota Department of Education/State Library Services & School Technology and funds from the North and South Dakota state libraries.

Region

In addition to North and South Dakota, we also contract for reciprocal delivery between Wisconsin and Minnesota. A series of bookmarks developed by Minitex serves as the routing slip for materials going to various locations throughout the four-state region.

Couriers

To help get material around, we work directly with several commercial couriers. In Minnesota, materials are delivered to regional and local hub sites by the Minitex couriers and then transported to local libraries or patrons by regional public and multi-type library systems. The regional systems also pick up materials from local libraries, which we route to other requesting libraries for their patrons.

Cost Efficiency

As the backbone of the region's delivery system, we handle over 1 million items per year; there are also hundreds of thousands of items being handled by local library delivery systems throughout the three-state region. The cooperative efforts of Minitex and the regional systems in Minnesota (both public and multi-type), along with North Dakota and South Dakota libraries, result in cost-efficient delivery of materials in a large resource sharing network.

A Typical Day in Delivery

The Minitex Delivery Unit processes incoming materials, sorts and packs outgoing materials and picks up retrieved materials from all of the campus libraries at Wilson Library, Walter Library and the Biomedical Library.

We receive our initial delivery of tubs before any staff arrives. The tubs are staged in the Cavern Level loading dock of the Minnesota Library Access Center. At 7:00 AM, staff load the staged tubs on the cavern level conveyor system that sends the tubs up to the Minitex office.

As the morning progresses more tubs arrive. The U.S. Postal Service and UPS arrive sometime between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM during the day. Every item that arrives is processed as soon as it arrives. This makes for a faster turnaround time for materials moving throughout the Minitex region.

Three times during each day one of our staff members drives the Minitex Delivery Unit Van to Wilson Library to return discharged materials to all campus libraries, deliver filled ILL borrowing requests to the Wilson Library Circulation office and pick up Minitex filled requests to process and pack in the Minitex Overnight Delivery System.

During the day we make one stop each at Hennepin County Library—Minneapolis, Walter Library, Magrath Library and the Biomedical Library to pick up filled requests. The last pick up at Wilson Library is done at 8:00 PM. This late pick up is to get as much into the delivery system as we can. Staff is in the office packing tubs and loading the conveyor until 11:00 PM.

Some of the material from the Minitex Overnight Delivery service is sorted, packed and sent from our office for delivery the following morning. This allows for direct borrowing among participating libraries. Minitex is constantly monitoring interlibrary loan traffic and expanding these direct delivery services to meet the needs of our participants. Use the links at the top of this page to learn more about these services.

Delivery: A Virtual Tour

Del the Book icon.

Take a slideshow tour of the Minitex Delivery System to see the process from the book's point of view, hosted by Delores the Book.